My family and a good many dear friends live 3,000 miles away. I guess that’s what happens when a Washington girl marries a New Hampsha’ boy. Which means, among other things, that when it comes time to visit said precious people, it involves
tearing my hair out, strapping the kids in strait jackets, sedating Superman and myself much prayer and planning, and yes, travel. (That may be the understatement of the century, right up there with “coffee is great” and “motherhood is not what I expected.” Ahem. But I digress.)
Where were we?
Oh, right. Travel. Packing up a family of 5 for a day of entertaining a kindergartener, a feels-everything-deeply-three-year-old, and a toddling one-year-old in a space the size of a Hobbit’s phone booth, surrounded by hostile, germ-infested people who resent your very existence (or at the very least, your reproductive choices) while you hurtle through the sky in a steel cylinder defying gravity WITH NO ESCAPE? Please sign me up.
The only way to make it through is
unlimited lattes and giving your inner control freak free reign and bribing everyone with lollipops being organized.
To wit, a list. The mother of all lists, in fact.
I’m about to spill the secrets of the mommy universe regarding travel survival. You on board? Buckle up! (Just as an aside, who really expects a squirming toddler to keep an air mask on their face “in the event of loss of cabin pressure”???) Just sayin’.
Coerce your husband into buying you a coffee gift card and hiring a nanny.(I guess this is not going to happen, so we can move on.)
- Pack your carry on
with veterinary grade tranquilizers for yourself and your husbandwith age appropriate, Pinterest-worthy homemade toys and handcrafted, organic, nutritionally balanced snacks. (Hahahahahahaha! That’s a good one!)
- Pack your checked bags
with the entire contents of your closet and medicine cabinet because well, you may need itwith perfectly coordinated, matching outfits for everyone, neatly packed in individual Ziploc® baggies. (I’ll sell you a bridge next!)
- Schedule counseling appointments for everyone at your final destination.
Okay, okay, I’ll get serious. When you are going to travel with little ones, the keywords to success are anticipation and flexibility.
To anticipate what will be most helpful during the trip is key to preparing successfully for travel. Choosing to pack items that are dual-use enables more flexibility during the trip. Also, it prevents your arms from being ripped out of their sockets by too-heavy bags. Win-win. If you want a print version of the above graphic, I have it for you: Travel With Littles
I’ve created packing lists for baby, toddler, and kindergartener (FOR FREE, Y’ALL! BECAUSE I HAVE YOUR BACK, FEEL YOUR PAIN, AND BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.) You’re welcome. 🙂 Just go here and get printing (and packing!) 😉